Have you ever been stopped at customs with 30 pounds of cheese in your suitcase? It’s a regular occurrence for Laurie Constantino, a passionate home cook, and her husband, Steven. Each year the pair travel between their homes in Anchorage, Alaska and Limnos, a rural Greek island in the northern Aegean Sea.
Laurie’s love affair with Mediterranean cooking began 30 years ago when she met Steven, a Greek-American, in Bethel, a remote Eskimo community, where she was working as the District Attorney.
In 1987, Laurie and Steven traded the windswept tundra of Bethel for the sun-bleached beaches of Limnos to live in the home they inherited from Steven’s grandmother.
In 2007, Laurie’s book Tastes Like Home: Mediterranean Cooking In Alaska, containing 182 fully-tested recipes, was published; a revised edition adding new recipes came out in 2011.
Today, Laurie dishes up Mediterranean home cooking inspired by her travels, and her collection of 3500 cookbooks, and writes about it at laurieconstantino.com.
On Tuesday, November 20, Anchorage’s Fourth Avenue stars in Chuck’s Eat the Street on The Cooking Channel.
Here’s a behind the scenes look at why the show came to Alaska and what Chuck Hughes, the show’s host, thinks about Anchorage.
McDonald Spit is a long narrow strip of sand and gravel projecting out into Kachemak Bay. It’s south of Homer on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula near Seldovia.
Local residents Eric Brudie and Meg Simonian are accomplished cooks, and regularly prepare elaborate meals at The Spit.
“The best thing about oyster farming is knowing I’m bringing to market the finest oysters in the world,” said Oyster Farmer Mike Nakada when asked why he loves his work.
Nakada had been an Alaskan fisherman for over 40 years before he switched to oyster farming.